Week six saw the Tolitas goalie make an early case for league recognition and two nailbiters between well-matched squads.
High Noon – Tuesday, March 5
Tolitas (2-0) 6 – 8% (1-2) 2
Though I’d never sell the Tolitas snipers short, the early favourite for league MVP simply has to be Tolitas goaltender Cam Hender.
After another brick wall performance, Hender’s goals against sits at a cool 2.00 goals-against average, which in floor hockey is a Dom Hasek-like number.
Hender was under tremendous pressure for much of the game but managed to throw his hulking frame in front of premium chance after premium chance.
Even when the 8% resorted to throwing their bodies at Hender as well, it merely led to a goalie interference call and a disallowed goal.
Hender was in the head of the 8% shooters even on the game’s only penalty shot; a bobbled, fumbled, squeezing-the-stick special.
Kaeden Ekstrom played well in the loss for the 8%, but joins Suitcase among the goalies that played just well enough to lose to Hender.
It was a battle of Dawsons up front, with the Tolitas’ McGilveray besting 8%’s Rusk, scoring a pair, including an “ooh”-inducing roof-daddy from distance.
High Noon – Wednesday, March 6
Stick Breakers (0-3) 5 – Meatheads (3-1) 7
Though CSS Flockey crowd sizes get a little Trumpy over time, this was easily the best-attended game of the season.
The Stick Breakers received extra support from members of the Chicks With Sticks squad, who arrived waving signs of support for the league’s other all-girls team as they faced down the league villain Meatheads.
Aleesha Bautista set the tone for the game early, refusing to back down to a hard Meathead forecheck. Bautista physically challenged the boys for the ball at every opportunity, surprising them with her grit and intensity.
Obviously intimidated by Bautista, the boys settled for low-percentage perimeter shots that were more often than not swatted away with casual ease by Stick Breakers goalie Rachael Paley.
Strong all game, playing her Manon Rheaume stand-up style to perfection, Paley made several outstanding saves. Turning their focus to old-time hockey, the Meatheads – led by Zach Spencer, Dyson Leneve and Spencer Dent – proved they can play with skill as well as toughness, scoring several pretty goals.
Leneve did incite the crowd to booing with a showy dangle, but to the crowd’s obvious pleasure, the move ended in nothing more than a turnover in the Stick Breakers zone.
Largely abandoned by teammates looking for goals, Jesse Schonke adopted an unusual sprawling style that saw him turn away several good chances from a goal-hungry Stick Breakers crew.
Offensively, the ladies were paced by a pair of goals each from Camryn Klassen and Jorja Salmons. Though the final score was not in their favour, the ladies played hard and earned the respect of the crowd.
High Noon – Thursday, March 7
Nordiques (3-1) 7 – Icemen (1-3) 6
The Nordiques, playing without player-coach and scoring leader Fred “the Fixer” Rogger, were nearly guilty of looking past their opponent, the always-scrappy Icemen.
After surging to a 4-0 lead, paced by a quick Martin Runge hat trick, the Nordiques took a casual approach to the defensive zone that saw the Icemen surge back to knot the game at four all.
With the weather warmer and the Nazko bus running again, the Icemen attack was led by dynamic scorer Taylen Perry. Perry left many a Nordique in search of their jock strap, particularly goaltender Rob “Suitcase” Biller.
His top-shelf beauty put the Icemen only one goal down with just a minute to play.
The Nordiques can all be happy that lunch hour isn’t five minutes longer, as the likes of Austin Podger, Trey Lightening and Perry were coming in waves over the game’s final seconds.
Special thanks go out to the CSS athletic training staff of Andy Closkey and Steve Dinicol for their timely response to the unfortunate post-game injury to star Nordiques defender Troy “Dana Murzyn Hockey School” Moore.
Thanks as well to the first responders and staff of G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital for their care and diligence.
We love you Troy, and we look forward to your full recovery and dynamic return to action.